Asadora!, Vol. 1

Viz Media. (Asadora!). Jan. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781974717460. pap. $14.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
The first volume in this new ongoing series from Urasawa (Sneeze: Naoki Urasawa StoryCollection) opens with a glimpse of Tokyo engulfed in flames as a gigantic monster rages through the city in 2020 before flashing back to 1959, as a young girl named Asa Asada races across the port of Nagoya to fetch a doctor for her mother. After being mistaken for a wealthy doctor’s daughter, Asa is kidnapped by Kasuga, a war veteran planning to ransom her in order to purchase an expensive pilot’s license. Kasuga quickly discovers his mistake, but before he can release Asa the pair are forced to take shelter against a typhoon. When the storm finally passes, they emerge to a scene of utter devastation and set out in search of Asa’s family. This leads to a tantalizing cliff-hanger ending.
VERDICT While this opening volume is largely devoted to worldbuilding and character development, Urasawa’s masterful storytelling, idiosyncratic plotting, and richly complex, empathetic characters combine for a thoroughly entertaining and intriguing introduction to what promises to be an epic story.
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